Adar Poonawalla In Top 10 Of Fortune’s 50 Greatest World Leaders

The CEO of Serum Institute India (SII) and eminent community icon – Adar Poonawalla, was featured as one of the top ten trailblazers in the prestigious ‘Fortune’s List of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders’. While New Zealand Prime Minister – Jacinda Arden, topped the list, Adar Poonawalla was the only Indian who made it to the ‘Top 10’ names on the list, praised for playing a significant role in the manufacturing and supplying COVID-19 vaccines, during the worst crisis face of humanity, and for his exemplary role in providing almost 90% of Covid-19 vaccines across India.

Fortune’s List of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders recognizes and honours men and women all over the globe, across various sectors – business, government, philanthropy, athletics, arts, etc – for transforming the world and inspiring others to do the same. While some are already extraordinary achievers, others were ordinary citizens who stepped up to make the world a better place during truly unprecedented times, and setting an inspirational precedent for others to do the same.

Other celebrated leaders who made to the Top 10 list included Paypal CEO – Daniel H Schulman; NBA Rescuers; mRNA Pioneers; Dr. John Nkengasong (Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention); Ping An’s Jessica Tan; while others in the list included Dolly Parton, Dr. Aparna Hegde (Urogynecologist, Founder – Armman); Varshini Prakash (Co-Founder – ‘The Sunrise Movement’ for climate justice); Malala Yousafzai; and Naomi Osaka. 

Lauding the efforts of Adar, Fortune states, “Poonawalla, head of the Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, has been tasked with no less than bringing an end to the global pandemic. The SII has pledged to deliver up to 2 billion vaccine doses in the coming years to COVAX, a global initiative to provide vaccine to lower-and-middle-income countries — and it has already provided more doses to that initiative than any other vaccine maker. 

The SII is producing two vaccines. The first, Covishield, is one of only a few vaccines approved by the World Health Organization and is based on the COVID vaccine AstraZeneca developed. SII’s other vaccine, called Covavax, is being produced in partnership with American firm Novavax, and may provide a 1.1 billion-dose boon to global vaccine stocks, starting later this year, once it clears clinical trials.

Poonawalla has hit some speed bumps in following through with his company’s global promises. A deadly surge in COVID-19 infections in India this spring forced Poonawalla to refocus distribution efforts at home. But in April, the CEO secured a $400 million investment from India’s government that he says will help the company produce an additional 30 million to 40 million Covishield doses per month and help India address its COVID-19 crisis. Poonawalla says that SII will resume exports once that happens, and countries around the world have reason to take him at his word. 

Before India’s current crisis Poonawalla demonstrated an unmatched commitment to global vaccine equity, providing low-cost vaccines to fight diseases like influenza, measles, and tetanus.”

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